Daughters Inherit Their Mother’s Strength 

I intended this post for a Two Ears Tuesday, but it took too long to write. Honestly I had to think a lot about this subject. Last week Paige, our 14 year old neighbor who works for us as an outrider, lost her mare. Belle was Paige’s first horse, the first two ears that would listen to her heart, the first soft muzzle to nuzzle her soul, her first show ring partner, her first life teacher. It’s hard to write about the loss of an equine best friend, so many of us have been on the broken hearted side of this story. Instead I want to write about the unshakable bond between mother and daughter. 
In the last few days of Belle’s struggle, Paige and her parents Mike and Tam worked around the clock to keep the little Arab mare comfortable as possible. When she would call us for help, I could hear the heartbreak in Tam’s voice, not only for the exhausted horse but for her daughter. 

Mothers want to protect their babies from the sharp pain of life, from the hurts of the world. All Tam could do was best prepare her girl for the heartache that would follow and be there with a hug that only moms can give. Paige is a very strong and resilient young lady, but I could see the loss in her eyes and the pain in Tam’s heart. 
Only a horse can sooth this kind of fracture, so my mom suggested we take them riding. Belle passed away late Saturday night and Sunday afternoon we loaded up our soul weary friends and a few of our horses. My mom, Paige, and I all fell into the familiar routine of saddling hoses, strapping on saddle bags, grabbing snacks and water, all the preparation we would do for any client, but today’s client was Tam. It was the first time she had ridden with us as Enhantment Equitreks and her daughter as an outrider. There was light conversation at first, but as the ride took us through forest, meadow, and ridges we all became quiet. As Tam watched her daughter expertly guide us down the trail, I saw pride replace the pain in her heart. You could see how proud she was of her strong, confident daughter. Moms never realize that we gain our strength from them. 

As we unsaddled Tam wrapped her arms around Paige and said, “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s ok mom, it’s a part of life,” she answered.
“No. I’m sorry it took something like this for me to go ride with you.”
It was then that I watched Paige’s heart mend. She knew that her mom supported her passion for horses, but now she knew they could share it.
I hated that our first mother daughter ride was in the wake of such a loss, but out of the anguish came solace. The Sunday before Mother’s Day is now officially the annual Mother and Daughter’s Princes Belle Memorial Ride. I look forward to next year when we celebrate the resolute maternal bond and the remember the spunky sorrel mare. This Mother’s Day I will make sure and wrap my arms around my mother because moms need little girl hugs as much we need mommy hugs. 


My Mom, My Best Friend

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I’m not sure when it happened but at some point in the last 30 years my mom became my best friend. We have always had a special relationship, she a single mother and I an only child. When times got tuff she always reassured me with a smile. “It’s you and me against the world kid.” This tenacious woman’s passion for life made even her shadow seem large and I knew I had big shoes to fill. It was in my twenties that I felt ready to cast my own ample shadow and find a pair of shoes that fit just me. So she, like so many parents do, stepping off her heroic pedestal I had placed her on, became human. She showed me her faults, her broken dreams, and provided her mistakes as examples for me to learn from. I was shocked, I didn’t understand how to relate to her as a woman. It was only when I quit childishly stomping my feet in protest, which took several years, that I realized the gift she was offering me. The friendship found between two women. Now, I am no longer her pigtailed, little girl and she my infalible parent, but we are equals, women, who can share our strengths and weaknesses, our daydreams and broken hearts. We are the best of friends.

This relationship gave us the courage to start out on the new and sometimes intimidating path as business partners. Our love and avidity for horses has built the foundation for Enchantment Equitreks, but it is our mutal respect as women that gives it structure. On this Mother’s Day I would like to thank my mother for her friendship. I am blessed by her wisdom, her knowledge, her vulnerability. I am in awe of her vitality and uncanny ability to sooth the soul of all creatures, two legs and four. It is my ardent wish that I will be able to establish the same relationship with my own daughter someday. And even though I went out in the world and found my own shoes to fill, they look an awfull lot like my mothers. Happy Mother’s Day everyone.

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